Sunday Long Reads: Abortion in Ireland, America's gun control issues and how to stay healthy during the holidays

Kick back with a cup of coffee and catch up on the best of from this week.

Sunday Long Reads: Abortion in Ireland, America's gun control issues and how to stay healthy during the holidays

Protesters during a march in O'Connell Street, Dublin in 2012 to demand legislation on abortion after the death of Savita Halappanavar | Image: Niall Carson / PA Archive/PA Images

Put on the kettle and kick your feet up this Sunday while you cast your eye over some of our favourite long reads from the last seven days

Thoughts, prayers and statements: America's gun control problem needs more than words

December 14th will mark the the third anniversary of a mass shooting in Newtown that claimed the lives of 20 children and six staff members at the Sandy Hook elementary school.

There were tributes then, as there are this week, in the wake of yet another mass shooting in the United States. The 14 lives claimed in Wednesday's attack in San Bernardino make that shooting the deadliest since the tragedy in Connecticut three years ago, but the discourse and the reaction remains unchanged. 

As a worthy successor to 'GBBO', the 'Great Pottery Throw Down' is the wheel deal

It’s sort of easy to imagine how the pitch meeting went over at the offices of the Great British Bake Off producers: having whipped up a frenzy with competitive whisking, a worldwide hit beloved by millions of viewers, finding a successor to UK’s nicest competitive reality TV show wouldn't be easy.

There have already been a number to try-hard and would-be heirs to the Berry-Hollywood throne, with painters and dressmakers and hair stylists all putting away their easels, piercing their pin cushions, and sweeping up the matted clumps of chopped hair. But where this, a show in which amateur Brits who are a dab hand at handling slabs of earthen clay and shaping it into surrealist shapes, seems to succeed is in understanding that people liked watching people put things into ovens. 

Five reasons why I help fund abortions for Irish women

As part of a special series on The Pat Kenny Show, UK-based Mara Clarke explains why she believes it’s morally right to help women access safe, legal abortions in clinics across England, and and whether or not there is the political will to hold a referendum in Ireland on the issue. 

Nine tips to ensure you don't 'go to waist' over this silly season

The party season is here… The time of year when it’s so easy to give into excess, with the promise in the back of our minds that we’ll stick to our New Year’s Resolutions and get seriously healthy come January. But you don't have to wait until then and here's why.

As a wheelchair user 'do you mind me asking?' are five words I dread to hear

Louise Bruton, aka Legless in Dublin, is tired of being defined by the one thing - time and time again,and talks about those five words have the power to drain all personality and erase any past achievements in her life: "do you mind me asking...?".